Press Releases

Simpson Supports Extension of Homebuyer Tax Credit

Washington, November 5, 2009
Tags: Housing
“The mortgage crisis is at the root of the economic challenges we are currently facing, and the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit has been one of the few efforts to address the mortgage crisis that has actually worked,” said Simpson. “To turn the housing market around, we need to get people into homes, and I am encouraged by the strong support I have seen for extending this credit, both in Congress and among Idahoans who have talked to me about it.”

The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed legislation extending the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Provision through April 30, 2010.  The bill also creates a new tax credit for move-up buyers who have lived in their current residence for at least five years.  The expanded tax credit was included as part of H.R. 3548, legislation that provides an extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits.

“The mortgage crisis is at the root of the economic challenges we are currently facing, and the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit has been one of the few efforts to address the mortgage crisis that has actually worked,” said Simpson.  “To turn the housing market around, we need to get people into homes, and I am encouraged by the strong support I have seen for extending this credit, both in Congress and among Idahoans who have talked to me about it.”

The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was originally created in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and was extended and expanded in early 2009.  Without congressional action, the tax credit will expire at the end of the month.  H.R. 3548 extends the credit again and creates a $6,500 tax credit for some first-time buyers, as well as makes a number of modifications to broaden the scope of the tax credit. Both categories of homebuyers have an additional 60 days to close on the home but must have a certified contract by April 30, 2010, and must be within income limits of $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples. The bill also states that homes over the purchase price of $800,000 do not qualify.   

“I have long advocated for a responsible approach to the housing crisis, and I believe that providing tax incentives for responsible individuals to purchase new homes is a step in the right direction,” said Simpson.  “Unlike a subprime mortgage or no down payment loan, a tax credit ensures that individuals are qualified for and can pay their mortgages and that they have a financial stake in their houses through a down payment.”

Simpson is a cosponsor of H.R. 1245, the Homebuyer Tax Credit, which expands the existing credit to home purchases across the board.  He is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1903, the Responsible Homeowners Act, which aims to keep families in their homes by lowering costs for all homeowners. H.R. 1903 includes a similar $15,000 tax credit for home purchases.

The tax credit provision was added to H.R. 3548 by the Senate, where it passed without opposition.  The amended legislation passed the House with a final vote of 403-12 and will now be sent to the President for his signature.